Finding the right car insurance company can seem very complex, especially if you’ve never gone through the process on your own. There are many factors to consider, including but not limited to price, policy offerings, billing, claims, and customer interactions, which is why trying to compare insurance companies can really throw even the most brilliant among us for a loop. On top of all this, the persistent myth that the only feature that really matters is price can make one’s search even more challenging. And if you happen to be a millennial, the whole thing may seem unaffordable. But fear not, because where there’s a will, there’s the perfect car insurance for you.
How the search for auto insurance differs for millennials
Fact: nearly 23% of millennials live with their parents, up from 13.5% in 2005. And, while this cost-saving measure may be a financial help in several key ways, car insurance is not one of them. Millennials who live with their parents will pay up to 73% more for auto insurance than those who own their own home. The lucky generation’s premiums average $1750 per year, compared to averages of $1205 for those who own a single family home and $1009 for those who happen to own a condo. And since insurers include age, type of car, zip code, and driving record among their risk factors, millennials do tend to get the raw end of the deal relative to previous generations due to their relative lack of experience with both driving and credit.
The good news? Even if you’re living at your parents’ home and not yet ready to move out, shopping for car insurance regularly can yield real savings. After all, quotes from a variety of carriers can differ by up to a $1500, and careful, selective shopping can save more than $50,000 over the course of a lifetime. And, of course, as soon as you are ready to move out on your own, car insurance is one of the very first expenses to revisit. This is smart even if you don’t end up buying a home, as auto premiums change from zip code to zip code, so your new neighborhood may lead to lower rates.
How to pick the best car insurance for you
Although car insurance offerings are fundamentally the same for many common carriers, and although low cost is obviously a prime consideration, so is a company’s record on customer service, the overall customer experience and the nature and quality of the company’s claim service, among other things. No matter what you do, don’t count yourself among the many who simply pick an insurer after they buy their first car and don’t bother looking at the details of the policy for years to come, because it may come back to haunt you when you actually need to use it.
Consider the following tips on how best to select the car insurance that’s right for you:
- Do an annual rate check. Check rates from other companies to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
- Shop around. If you stick with the insurance company your parents use out of convenience, you might not get the best deal. Or have the best experience, for that matter.
- Ask for discounts. The best insurance companies offer discounts, among them are car insurance discounts for college students. You can usually find information about this when you apply online, but never hesitate to call a provider for more information.
- Pick an insurer with a reputation for dealing well with claims, payments, and non-claim problems too.
- Maintain good credit. Regularly check your credit score since a low score can really impact your premium.
- Set the right deductible. A higher deductible reduces your premium, but of course, you have to pay more in the event of an accident. If you have a good driving record, you may want to opt for a higher premium. It’s a risk, but you could save up to 40%.
- Review your coverage. Check to make sure you have enough liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage. Over time, costs and risk increase, and so should your coverage.
- Report reduced mileage. By driving less, you may qualify for a lower premium. If you’ve changed jobs, are now working from home, or have become unemployed, call your insurer.
- Take note of where your insurer sends you for repairs, as the repair shop may push for cheaper replacement parts rather than original equipment from the manufacturer (OEM parts).
- Choose the right car. Vehicle damage and associated repair costs are a big factor in the price of auto insurance. When looking for a new car, compare the data on collision by vehicle model.
- Don’t be loyal for the sake of being loyal. Unfortunately, sticking with the same company because it’s easier may not get you better rates over time. Some providers may even increase your rates indirectly because they know you’re in for the long haul.
If the above list overwhelms you, take solace in the fact that Clearsurance has already done most of the legwork for you — they’re empowering consumers by providing a transparent, unbiased look at insurance providers through crowdsourced reviews and ratings. Services like this are ideally suited to millennials looking to purchase car insurance for the first time as they go far beyond simply listing the best price: they provide real life ‘trust-scores’ and user experiences from which to glean valuable knowledge. Learn more about who consumers rate as the best car insurance companies in 2019 by visiting Clearsurance today!